For first-time homebuyers, knowing what to expect can make all the difference between a smooth home buying experience and a stressful one.
In Part I, we focused on educating our first-timer on the financial aspects of home buying and the mortgage loan process. In Part II, we will look at the questions first-time homebuyers should be asking. What are their expectations? And how do they reconcile those expectations with the reality of what they may find in their search?
Working through these lists should help your clients begin to visualize their home and help them prioritize and identify where they may be willing to compromise and which items are must-haves.
Creating the Wish List: Questionnaires for Buyers
You’ve been pre-approved and you know what you can afford. Now it’s time to create your wish list. A good wish list becomes your checklist as you start to view homes online and in person with your agent. A good wish list isn’t just what you want. It’s a list of what you and your family need in a home to be comfortable. Consider future requirements as well as current needs. These are the basics, what do you need at minimum in a home to make it efficient and livable?
- Do you need or prefer a single story home?
- Do you need oil heat or natural gas?
- How many bedrooms will you need?
- Do you need a guest room and/or home office?
- Do you need an eat-in kitchen and separate dining room?
- Do you need a separate laundry area? If so, upstairs or downstairs?
- How many bathrooms will you need?
- How much additional storage space will you require? Basement or attic?
- Do you need a garage, carport, or space for additional parking?
- How large a yard do you need?
- Do you need to be on a bus route?
- Do you have children who’ll be attending school?
Which of the following amenities are must-haves? This list will help identify which of these added features you want and prioritize them based on importance.
- Working fireplace
- Central air conditioning
- Hardwood floors
- Walk-in closets
- Gourmet kitchen (with or without) appliances included with the home
- Granite or marble counter tops
- Stainless steel appliances
- Washer and dryer
- Whirlpool bathtub or jacuzzi
- Mud room
- Two or three car garage
- Patio, porch, or deck
- Landscaped yard
- Swimming pool
Neighborhood and Commuting Needs
These questions will determine the kind of neighborhood location that best meets your needs.
- How far are you willing to commute to work each day?
- Do you travel often and need additional access to transportation, such as a major bus or train routes, and/or the airport?
- How close to other family members do you need to be?
- Are there other activities you need to be close to like local schools, college, church, country club, or golf course?
- If you live in the city is there parking available for visitors?
- Is a local grocery story a must have? What other amenities are must-haves?
You’ll want to edit this list based on your experience and knowledge of the communities you serve. This list could be used as a stand-alone piece or combined with Part I. Giving potential clients their own first-time homebuyer guide is a great way to introduce yourself and share your knowledge and experience. It should lead to some great feedback and future referrals.